The Cost of Literacy Appropriation Cuts in Utah Public Schools

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By Gail Sardoni For EDUC 6560, SUU, 3/24/2014

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The Cost of Literacy Appropriation Cuts in Utah Public Schools : 

The Cost of Literacy Appropriation Cuts in Utah Public Schools Gail Sardoni Political Frame SUU EDUC 6560

“Buttars called the early literacy program a ‘sacred cow’.” (Ziegler 2011) : 

“Buttars called the early literacy program a ‘sacred cow’.” (Ziegler 2011) Goals are great. Without goals there can be no progress. Goals must be realistic to be achieved. Wikipedia defines the term “sacred cow” by way of its figurative use from Buttars as, “something else that is considered immune from question or criticism, especially unreasonably so.” (WikipediA, 2014)

Appropriations committee threatens to revoke literacy funds if 2020 goal is not met. By Benjamin Wood, Deseret News : 

Appropriations committee threatens to revoke literacy funds if 2020 goal is not met. By Benjamin Wood, Deseret News According to USBE Chairwoman Debra Roberts, the money has been spent on professional development for teachers, hiring literacy specialists and developing reading libraries that can adapt to the needs of individual students.

These lawmakers shaved Utah’s early literacy program by $300,000 during the 2010 General Legislative Session. : 

These lawmakers shaved Utah’s early literacy program by $300,000 during the 2010 General Legislative Session. S.B. 150 (2) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, 55 the State Board of Education shall make rules defining expected reading levels for first, 56 second, and third grades.

Associate superintendent Judy Park pointed to Utah's proficiency scores, where by the eighth grade 90 percent of students read at grade level, compared to 79 percent in the third grade. : 

Associate superintendent Judy Park pointed to Utah's proficiency scores, where by the eighth grade 90 percent of students read at grade level, compared to 79 percent in the third grade. (5) The State Board of Education shall: (a) evaluate the effects of the diagnostic assessment system for reading by comparing the learning gains of students in school districts and charter schools that use the diagnostic assessment system for reading with the learning gains of students in school districts and charter schools that do not use the diagnostic assessment system for reading; and (b) submit a report on the evaluation to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee by November 2013.

What helps early literacy? : 

What helps early literacy? According to Roskos, Christie, & Richgels, (2003), before they go to kindergarten, young children should be involved in practices of early literacy instruction including; reading aloud, circle time, small group activities, adult child conversations and play.

Young children who become successfully literate have these common characteristics: : 

Young children who become successfully literate have these common characteristics: “willingness to listen to stories desire to be read to curiosity about words and letters exploration of print forms playfulness with words enjoyment of songs, poems, rhymes, jingles, books, and dramatic play.” (Roskos, Christie, & Richgels, 2003).

There is a well-known premise that effective teachers raise student achievement. : 

There is a well-known premise that effective teachers raise student achievement. According to the Utah State Office of Education, Literacy funds are being used for “(1) the implementation of reading assessments, (2) focused reading interventions for students that may include extra time with reading specialists, tutoring, before or after school programs, tiered literacy instruction, or the use of reading software and appropriate hardware, and (3) support for teachers to develop current, highly-effective instructional plans for working with students to improve reading at all levels.”

When does reading bloom? : 

When does reading bloom? I struggled through the alphabet as if it had been a bramble-bush; getting considerably worried and scratched by every letter.. — Charles Dickens Great Expectations

Athena and Jora are two third grade girls from the same small rural satellite community that feeds into an Elementary School in Cedar City Utah. : 

Athena and Jora are two third grade girls from the same small rural satellite community that feeds into an Elementary School in Cedar City Utah.

Slide 11: 

Athena’s 2nd & 3rd grade DIBELS results BOY = Beginning of Year MOY = Middle of Year EOY = End of Year

Slide 12: 

Jora’s 2nd & 3rd grade DIBELS results BOY = Beginning of Year MOY = Middle of Year EOY = End of Year

Who or what can explain Jora’s lack of progress and Athena’s sudden burst of success? “Value-added ratings cannot disentangle the many influences on student progress.”(Darling-Hammond, Linda, 1999) : 

Who or what can explain Jora’s lack of progress and Athena’s sudden burst of success? “Value-added ratings cannot disentangle the many influences on student progress.”(Darling-Hammond, Linda, 1999)

Who can scientifically explain why Athena’s reading development was delayed but not her twins sister’s? : 

Who can scientifically explain why Athena’s reading development was delayed but not her twins sister’s?

Slide 15: 

Comparing student against student does not work. Children will learn and grow at the rate that they individually learn and grow. No one can force achievement. Not even the bureaucrats who demand statistics can force a child to learn to read right now!

Summer Slide is the Problem : 

Based on the case studies compiled for this erudition, the biggest deficit in student growth takes place over the summer months, not only for Jora and Athena but also for 61% of Mrs. Aiden’s third grade class. Even for the student whom met benchmark standards in May, 25% of their composite scores were lower than the previous September. Summer Slide is the Problem

Teachers, Administrators, Specialists, Support Staff, Parents/Families, Community Partners and Students are supporting the advances of our children’s literacy with all we have!And the Utah Educational appropriations committee needs to do the same. : 

Teachers, Administrators, Specialists, Support Staff, Parents/Families, Community Partners and Students are supporting the advances of our children’s literacy with all we have!And the Utah Educational appropriations committee needs to do the same.

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